For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson;

For NEA: Victoria Hutter, 202-682-5692,

OPERA America,
With support of the National Endowment for the Arts,
October 29 – November 7, 2010

One hundred opera companies, schools and organizations in 33 states across the country (see below for full list) will celebrate the second NATIONAL OPERA WEEK from October 29 – November 7, 2010 by offering free, accessible events to their communities. National Opera Week is organized by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera (, with support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

National Opera Week celebrates the vitality of opera in America as a contemporary cultural expression. The strength and diversity of established opera companies, community opera ensembles and opera training programs across the United States will be shared through a variety of free and accessible activities for opera lovers and newcomers to the art form. Coinciding with the presentation of the NEA Opera Honors in Washington, D.C., organizations nationwide offer a range of free programs for the public that demonstrate the allure and accessibility of this most multi-media of the arts. From open houses, lecture/demonstrations and community performances to the presentation of the nation’s highest award in the field, National Opera Week brings the inventiveness and excitement of opera to a broader national audience (see below for examples).

“National Opera Week is an opportunity to highlight the astounding energy and creativity of opera activity across the United States today,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president & CEO of OPERA America. “There is something for everyone during National Opera Week, providing both the seasoned attendee and newcomer a chance to learn about, experience and enjoy the art form in an informal setting.”

In addition to celebrating the exciting ongoing opera activity in the United States, National Opera Week honors the outstanding careers of the 2010 NEA Opera Honors recipients: Soprano Martina Arroyo, General Director David DiChiera, Composer Philip Glass and Music Director Eve Queler. The 2010 NEA Opera Honors will take place on Friday, October 22 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. (

Noteworthy National Opera Week events include The Atlanta Opera’s 24-Hour Opera Project, during which operas of 7-10 minutes in length will be composed, rehearsed and performed; performances of favorite opera selections at various distinct landmarks all over town with Chicago Opera Theater; a complete behind-the-scenes look at Boston Lyric Opera; and an informal French aria competition at a neighborhood café with Opéra Français de New York.

See below:
  • Examples of National Opera Week programming
  • List of companies/organizations and states participating

Programming Examples
The full list of National Opera Week events is available at

The Atlanta Opera (Atlanta, GA)
24-Hour Opera Project: The Atlanta Opera will produce a 24-Hour Opera Project in collaboration with the Georgia State University School of Music, Clark Atlanta University and University of West Georgia. The project will provide area artists with an opportunity to showcase their creative talents through this unique project. Artists will submit applications and be matched into teams. Composers will have 12 hours to write a 7-10 minute opera. Upon completion, compositions will be randomly assigned to stage directors, who will draft singers from a pool of applicants to rehearse and ultimately perform the piece that same evening — all within 24 hours. The public is invited to attend the culminating showcase, during which opera experts will judge and award prizes to the participants. Showcase: Sunday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Florence Kopleff Recital Hall on the campus of Georgia State University.

Boston Lyric Opera (Boston, MA)
Free Open House at the Shubert Theatre: Boston Lyric Opera’s Opera Week events will showcase the company’s adaptation of Scottish Opera’s Tosca, which opens November 5. The next morning, BLO will welcome the community to the Citi Performing Arts CenterSM Shubert Theatre for its free Open House. This event will feature performances, backstage tours and musical activities for all ages. It will also include the final round of competition of the second annual Aria Contest for Teens, emceed by acclaimed arts and entertainment critic Joyce Kulhawik. Saturday, November 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Shubert Theatre.

Chicago Opera Theater (Chicago, IL)
Pop-Up Opera: Chicago Opera Theater and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs present “Pop-up Opera” around Chicago during National Opera Week — short performances of opera “favorites” at iconic Chicago locations. Friday, October 29 to Friday, November 5 throughout Chicago.

Fargo-Moorhead Opera (Fargo, ND)
Food for the Witch: All Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding area high school students will receive a free ticket to Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel performed by Fargo-Moorhead Opera with a donation of a non-perishable food item. The food items will be collected at the ticketing kiosk in exchange for the ticket. Food will benefit the Great Plains Food Bank. Friday, October 29 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 31 at 2:00 p.m. at Festival Hall of North Dakota State University in Fargo.

Madison Opera (Madison, WI)
Kids in the Rotunda: For the third consecutive season, Madison Opera partners with Kids in the Rotunda to help introduce the youngest community members to opera. Children are invited to listen to opera and decorate wedding cake stencils to be displayed November 5 and 7 during performances of The Marriage of Figaro. Saturday, October 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Overture Center for the Arts.

Michigan Opera Theatre (Detroit, MI)
Family Open House: Michigan Opera Theatre invites the community to a free Family Open House at the Detroit Opera House. Free tours include a visit to the costume, wig and makeup shops and a chance to go backstage! Saturday, November 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Detroit Opera House.

New Orleans Opera Association (New Orleans, LA)
Opera on Tap at the Inn on Bourbon: The finest young, local and regional singers perform a 90-minute concert of opera favorites. This is part of a series, but for National Opera Week the performance will be broadcast through speakers out onto Bourbon Street, joining the mix of existing bar music. Tourists will hear opera with rock and roll, blues and jazz as they stroll down the famous Bourbon Street. Wednesday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the Inn on Bourbon in New Orleans.

Opéra Français de New York (New York, NY)
BYO French Aria Competition: OFNY is hosting an informal “Bring your own French aria” vocal competition for New York area singers at the West Village music club, Caffè Vivaldi. Audience applause will decide the lucky winner who will receive a double subscription to OFNY’s 2010-2011 season. Five singers will be selected for the opportunity to perform their best French aria. All experience levels are welcome. Tuesday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. at Caffè Vivaldi in New York City.

Opera for the Young (Madison, WI)
The Pirates of Penzance: Opera for the Young and the Madison Children's Museum kick off National Opera Week in Madison with a free performance of The Pirates of Penzance. The community is invited to join in the fun and come dressed in Halloween costumes. (Little pirates get priority seating.) Friday, October 29 at 2:00 p.m. at the Madison Children’s Museum.

Sarasota Opera (Sarasota, FL)
Bring-a-Friend Career Day: Sarasota Opera and Sarasota Youth Opera hold its annual Bring-a-Friend Career Day. Young singers, their parents and their friends are treated to a performance by Apprentice Artists, who also speak to participants about careers in opera and answer questions. Also invited are local child-centered organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls Inc., etc. This is followed by a “meet-and-greet” session. Saturday, November 6 at the Sarasota Opera House.

Webster University (Saint Louis, MO)
Opera at Plaza Frontenac: Students from the Webster University Opera Studio will sing opera arias and ensembles in Plaza Frontenac’s center court. Saturday, November 6 at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. at Plaza Frontenac in Saint Louis.

Participant Statistics
  • 100 total participating organizations
    • 64 Professional Company Members
    • 17 Associate organizations
    • 16 Educational organizations

33 states represented (events per state)
Alabama (3) Maine (1) North Carolina (1)
Arizona (1) Maryland (2) North Dakota (2)
California (8) Massachusetts (7) Ohio (5)
Colorado (1) Michigan (1) Oregon (5)
District of Columbia (5) Minnesota (1) Pennsylvania (7)
Florida (11) Mississippi (1) South Carolina (1)
Georgia (4) Missouri (3) Tennessee (5)
Illinois (5) New Hampshire (2) Texas (19)
Kansas (1) New Jersey (1) Virginia (4)
Kentucky (1) New Mexico (1) Washington (2)
Louisiana (4) New York (23) Wisconsin (13)

Participating Organizations
The Academy of Vocal Arts Encompass New Opera Theatre
American Lyric Theater Eugene Opera
American Opera Projects Family Opera Initiative/Ardea Arts
Annapolis Opera Fargo-Moorhead Opera
Arizona Opera Florentine Opera Company
The Atlanta Opera Florida Grand Opera
Austin Lyric Opera Florida State University
Boston Early Music Festival The Glimmerglass Festival
Boston Lyric Opera Greensboro Opera Company
Boston University, College of Fine Arts Guerilla Opera
Center City Opera Theater Houston Grand Opera
Central City Opera Kentucky Opera
Chelsea Opera Knoxville Opera
Chicago Opera Theater Lake George Opera at Saratoga
The Dallas Opera The Little Opera Theatre of NY
Dayton Opera Association Long Beach Opera
Divergence Vocal Theater Los Angeles Opera
Eastman Opera Theatre Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Madison Opera Opera Vivente
Manhattan School of Music Opera Volunteers International
Metropolis Opera Project OperaWorks
Miami Lyric Opera Palm Beach Opera
Michigan Opera Theatre Pittsburgh Opera
Minnesota Opera Portland Opera
Mississippi Opera Association PORTopera
Mobile Opera Rice University, The Shepherd School of Music
Muddy River Opera Company Richard Wagner Society of New York
Nashville Opera San Antonio Opera
National Endowment for the Arts San Diego Opera Association
New York City Opera Sarasota Opera
Nickel City Opera Seattle Opera
OPERA America Shreveport Opera
Opera Birmingham Syracuse Opera
Opera Columbus Tacoma Opera
Opera Company of Philadelphia Temple University Boyer College of Music
Opera for the Young Texas Christian University School of Music
Opéra Français de New York Townsend School of Music
Opera in the Heights Tri-Cities Opera Company
Opera Lafayette University of Alabama
Opera Memphis University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Opera New Jersey
Opera North University of Colorado, Boulder
Opera on the James University of South Carolina-Opera at USC
Opera Orchestra of New York University of the Pacific
Opera Roanoke Virginia Opera
Opera San José Washington National Opera
Opera San Luis Obispo Webster University
Opera Tampa West Bay Opera Association, Inc.
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh Wichita State University Opera Theatre



OPERA America leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera.

  • Artistic services help opera companies and creative and performing artists to improve the quality of productions and increase the creation and presentation of North American works.
  • Information, technical, and administrative services to opera companies reflect the need for strengthened leadership among staff, trustees and volunteers.
  • Education, audience development and community services are designed to enhance all forms of opera appreciation.

Founded in 1970, OPERA America’s worldwide membership network includes nearly 200 Company Members, 300 Associate and Business Members, 2,000 Individual Members and more than 16,000 subscribers to the association’s electronic news service. In 2005, OPERA America relocated from Washington, D.C. to New York as the first step in creating the first-ever National Opera Center. With a wide range of artistic and administrative services in a purpose-built facility, the Opera Center is dedicated to increasing the level of excellence, creativity and effectiveness across the field.

OPERA America’s long tradition of supporting and nurturing the creation and development of new works led to the formation of The Opera Fund, a growing endowment which allows OPERA America to make a direct impact on the ongoing creation and presentation of new opera and music-theater works. Since its inception, OPERA America has made grants of nearly $11 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the creation and development of new works.